In collaboration with a multicultural Auckland-wide cast, Mt Albert Baptist presents a brand new, original Stage Show: The Way of the Raukura – a Parihaka Musical.
The incredible true story of the invasion of the pacifist village Parihaka has gained international significance – yet surprisingly few New Zealanders know it.
This new stage musical is written by our lead pastor Steve Worsley, a former concert pianist who was inspired to put the story of Parihaka to music and drama in a way that reflects the cross-cultural challenges of today.
The Way of the Raukura tells the story of a wanted murderer who flees to Parihaka, and his journey in the pacifist village until it is invaded by an army.
Based on the true story of how the village extended arms of peace to soldiers set on plundering land in 1881, it’s told through the eyes of two main historical characters – Wiremu Hiroki, the murderer on the run, and Samuel Crombie Brown, a reporter and eye witness of the events.
A tale of resilience and heartbreak, courage and loss, the musical focuses on the inspiring response of the Parihaka village and the relationships between the lead characters as they bravely face an uncertain future. Journey with Wiremu as he considers the Way of the Raukura – which path will he choose?
Tickets available soon from Ticketek!
Is there permission from Parihaka's kaumatua to go ahead with this show?
The Way of the Raukura – a Parihaka Musical is coming to the stage from 11–19 September with permission from Parihaka’s Papakainga Trust. Steve travelled to Parihaka a number of times in the last two years to talk with the community’s kaumātua and share his vision for the musical. He shared the script with the Trust board members and was granted full written consent for the performing of this show.
When and where will the show be performed?
The performances will be daily between September 11–19, 2020 (excluding Monday 14) in Mt Albert Baptist Church’s newly built auditorium.
Is the show sung throughout?
The show is not sung throughout, it’s a mixture of drama and music with 18 songs.
Who is putting on this show?
The cast features talented performers from all across Auckland. The vision for this show was born at Mt Albert Baptist Church. The church are providing around 100 volunteers in support roles of all kinds to enable everything that the show and its performers need.
Will this show be performed in other places after these 2020 performances?
We believe this is an incredibly important story that everyone should know, and that the Stage Musical format provides an incredible vehicle for the telling of it. So we definitely want to see it go well beyond its initial performances. However, we are committed to taking every step in dialogue with Parihaka, so we will discuss it with them after our 2020 performances.
Are the performers paid?
None of the performers or the team of directors or the writers of the show are paid. The hundreds of hours of work put into this show arise from a common commitment that the story needs to be told, and a passion to tell it well.
How it began...
Sarah Tahere's original song, 'Under the Mountain' was the inspiration that sparked the writing of this show. She wrote the song for a Mt Albert Baptist 'Parihaka Night' event in 2017 and performed it with her family. The song captures the core themes of the event – 'War meets peace, guns meet grace and love meets greed' – and features twice in the Musical.
“When we first heard Under the Mountain we all felt the emotional impact of the song and the story suddenly became more than a series of facts. It was at that moment that the vision for telling the whole story through music was born.” – Steve Worsley